ANN ARBOR, Michigan, March 1. FOR the first time since 1992-95 under then head coach Jon Urbanchek, the Michigan men captured their fourth straight Big Ten title in a row, this time under the direction of head coach Mike Bottom.
Michigan dominated team scoring with 889 points, more than 300 points ahead of Indiana’s second-place tally of 564. Ohio State (515) and Minnesota (378) finished third and fourth, while Penn State reached fifth overall with 349.5 points.
Purdue (329.5), Wisconsin (299.5), Iowa (188), Northwestern (158) and Michigan State (107.5) also tallied points at Big Tens this year.
Michigan’s Connor Jaeger, who debuted as our March 2014 Swimming World Magazine cover personality today, turned in a routine 14:34.19 to top the men’s 1650-yard free to start off the night. The time is a bit faster than the 14:34.87 that he used to win the Big Ten title a year ago, but is well off his sizzling 14:27.18 from NCAAs last March. The only surprise tonight from Jaeger is that he didn’t challenge Chirs Thompson’s meet record of 14:31.15 set back in 2001.
Northwestern’s Jordan Wilimovsky turned in the second NCAA A cut of the distance event with a 14:42.99 for second. Meanwhile, Michigan’s Anders Nielsen finished third overall with a 14:48.23 as the Wolverines went 1-3-5-8 in the 1650 to continue their march towards another Big Ten title.
IU’s Eric Ress capped his Big Ten conference career with a meet record time of 1:38.89 to win the men’s 200-yard back. That performance lowered his school record of 1:38.96 set back in 2011 at NCAAs, and dipped under Matt Grevers’ 2007 meet mark of 1:39.53. Ress led a foursome of swimmers under the NCAA A cut in the distance dorsal.
Wisconsin’s Andrew teDuits, the reigning NCAA champion in the event, took second in 1:39.84 with OSU’s Connor McDonald (1:40.74) and PSU’s Nathaniel Savoy (1:41.23) also qualifying for NCAAs in the finale.
A day after winning the 100 free for Penn State, Shane Ryan picked up another victory as he blasted the Big Ten meet and conference records in the sprint event with a sizzling 42.08. That swim upended the meet record of 42.42 set by Derek Toomey this morning, and also beat Grevers’ conference mark of 42.33 from his magical 2007 season. Toomey, meanwhile, couldn’t replicate this morning’s speed en route to a second-place 42.68 with Michigan’s Bruno Ortiz clinching third in 42.70.
Indiana’s Cody Miller joined Michigan’s Mike Barrowman as the only Big Ten breaststrokers to accomplish a career sweep of the 200-yard event at the conference meet as Miller hoisted a 1:52.58 onto the scoreboard. What’s even more impressive, is that he has plenty more in the tank with a conference record 1:51.03 to his credit from last year. Purdue’s Lyam Dias (1:53.06) and Michigan’s Richard Funk (1:53.49) surpassed the NCAA A cut in the event.
After putting the U.S. Open record of 1:39.65 shared by Michael Phelps and Tom Shields on notice this morning with a meet and conference record time of 1:40.37, Michigan’s Dylan Bosch couldn’t get any faster in the 200-yard fly finale as he won in 1:40.54. His prelim time lowered his previous record of 1:41.18 set in 2013. Teammate Kyle Whitaker hit the wall in 1:41.90 for second, while Indiana’s Stephen Schmuhl picked up third-place honors in 1:43.33.
Conor Murphy continued the strong Hoosier evening in platform by capturing the diving title for Indiana with 434.85 points. Purdue’s Nathan Cox finished second overall with 419.20 points, while Minnesota’s Manny Pollard collected 394.00 points for third.
Michigan’s Bruno Ortiz, Anders Nielsen, Justin Glanda and Michael Wynalda closed out Michigan’s fourth straight team title with a 2:51.07 in the 400-yard free relay to clip the meet record. Minnesota previously owned the record with a 2:51.24 from way back in 2005.
Penn State’s Shane Ryan, John Hauser, Nathaniel Savoy and Shane Austin picked up second-place honors in 2:51.32, while Ohio State’s Tim Phillips, Michael Disalle, Steffen Hillmer and Joshua Fleagle touched third in 2:51.68. Additionally, Minnesota’s Derek Toomey, Daryl Turner, Paul Fair and Kyler Van Swol produced an NCAA A cut with a fourth-place 2:53.32.